…two drink minimum
WHEW! This 365 entry took awhile to write.
The first TWO entries for Retro 365: Dogs & Cats Living Together week will get posted tomorrow.
365 People, Places & Things #42
To belatedly close out the week, we have a Criminal Mastermind who looks great in haute coture.
Steampunk Grrlz: Andromeda Andropoulis
On Steampunk Earth #6, Professor James Moriarty was the Napoleon of Crime. Note the use of the past tense, because on a very early spring morning in 1889, Moriarty and several members of his gang were found dead in the middle of a park in London. Each man had been killed in a different way. Moriarty himself had been shot once in the back of the head, execution style. On his jacket was penned a note addressed to Sherlock Holmes. It read…
“My Dear Mr. Holmes,
I have assumed control of the operation that was until recently operated by Professor Moriarty. I intend upon expanding it into areas new and exciting. I shall, of course, look forward to matching wits with you, but unlike the Professor, I see no reason to try and remove you should you be so lucky as to win a round or two. Where, I ask you, would be the fun in that?
Yours Most Humbly,
It took Holmes less than a day to figure out who “A” was and assemble a dossier on her. He told Dr. Watson about it.
“Our friend “A” is a most remarkable young lady by the name of Andromeda Andropoulis. The youngest child and third daughter of Theo Andropoulis, the Greek businessman who died in the wreck of the Marilee Scott in ’86. You’ll recall that his wife and two sons also perished, along with 84 others. A bad business, that, as it was later determined that the ship had purposely been steered onto the rocks by a crewman.
At any rate, Miss Andropoulis and her sisters inherited the family fortune. Her sisters are both quite ordinary, but she, Watson, is something entirely different. It seems that from an early age, she was the sort of person that others naturally follow. The family lived in Greece until she was 9 and it is said that she lead other children into all manner of mischief. Upon arrival in London, she was sent to a boarding school where she soon had a group of young ladies running several schemes that circumvented school rules. Nothing too bad, mind you, but still a training exercise for her later life.
After leaving school, she traveled for two years with a small group of her friends on a tour of first Europe and later North America. She was out of touch with her family for weeks at a time, during which I believe she was involved in various criminal activities. The case of the Swiss Banking Scandal, for instance, has elements that point towards several women being involved on a high level, as does the case of the Danish Royal Museum robbery. In America, I think she might be linked to the Airship Panic that resulted in so much chaos in cities like San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Yes, a busy lass indeed.
From what I have learned from speaking with people here in London who knew her, she is exceedingly smart, yet not nearly a genius on the level of Moriarty. I think, perhaps, that she has instead assembled a group of women each has some genius in certain fields, much like that Tempest fellow in America has done. Of course, in her case, the purpose is to commit crimes, not stop them.
Yes, old friend, she does indeed remind me of The Woman, although Miss Andropoulis seems to have both a broader range of criminal tastes and a more…playful attitude towards crime. I refer you to the note where it says “where would be the fun in that”. While I do not dismiss her ruthlessness or cunning, I would say that her prime motivation seems to be winning some sort of contest that only she knows about. Similar to what our friend The Doctor meant when he said “the one with the most toys when he dies, wins”.
A description, you say? Hardly useful, Watson, since she dropped from public view shortly after returning to England and just before her parents and brothers died. Before then, she was 5’8” tall, of a very fine figure, brown haired and brown eyed, given to wearing the finest of clothing and said to be quite inundated with suitors. By now, of course, she most likely has a dozen identities and a different face for each of them. No, Watson, we won’t catch this one by spotting her in a crowd.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I need time to think, Watson. Do go about your practice and I shall see you back here for an early dinner. After that, I think we shall go pay a visit to several people I know and see what else we can learn about this new Napoleon of Crime.”
Excerpt from a note intercepted by one of the Baker Street Irregulars six weeks later…
Hope this finds you well and enjoying your new venture. I’ve had great success of my own, despite the beastly unpleasant weather and vicious insects here. Doctor Esposito has been wonderfully helpful and has finally obtained the necessary plant extracts. I shall bring them back with me, so you may tell Miss Briars to contact our friend in Scotland and have him bring his pets to the assigned location.
I miss you and quite look forward to going out for a night at the theater when I return. Something comedic, I think.
Yours In Wicked Sisterhood,